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The Persecuted Church



The Passover lamb’s death and resurrection prove the day he was crucified and raised


The children of Israel were instructed to mark their homes with the blood of the Passover lambs under Moses’ instructions when they were in Egypt. Each family (individually) were to dip hyssop into the lamb’s blood and smear it on their doorposts and get behind the door (they were not to touch it by their flesh)

Passover was commanded in Lev.23 to be celebrated annually with 6 other feast days. It became a commemoration. Every Passover thereafter, the blood of the Passover lambs was splashed on the altar in the Tabernacle/Temple as a remembrance of the plague of the firstborn when they were in Egypt.

This was a dress rehearsal for the final event that was to be fulfilled by the Lamb of God. Believers in Christ’s crucifixion interpret the Passover blood on the doorway as a symbol of Messiah crucified put to death on a cross. The applying of blood on the top and two sides, which now we understand from a New Testament perspective is an illustrative symbol of the crucifixion of the then future crucified lamb (Jesus head pierced with the crown of thorns and his hands stretched out and pierced).  Consider a few of the parallels.  John who introduced the Messiah to Israel at his baptism calls him the Passover Lamb, who takes away the sins of the world, not just Israel (Jn.1:29) .

After Jesus pronounced the 7 woes to the religious leaders that led the nation to reject him Jesus laments "for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!'" Ps 118:22-29 “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was the LORD'S doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Save now, I pray, O LORD; O LORD, I pray, send now prosperity. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD! We have blessed you from the house of the LORD.”

They wanted to be the head not the tail, to overthrow the hand of tyranny as they were under the rule of Rome. Hoshanna, Hoshanna save us now was said (and sung) earlier in the week citing Psalm 118 when Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey. But at the end of the week they turned on him and neglected the rest of the Psalm which says V.27 “God is the LORD, and He has given us light; bind the sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar. You are my God, and I will praise You; you are my God, I will exalt You. Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.”

The sacrifice was bound to the altar, giving light, and offering mercy to all who would repent. The lamb of God was on display for all to see for 6 hours BEFORE that special Sabbath commenced.

The day of Passover Jesus died, his beaten body hung dying on the Roman cross where rebels were punished openly. At the same time the pilgrims for the feast came into the Temple courts, bringing their lambs to slaughter for their sin. As His blood flowed from him onto the ground, the Jewish priesthood carried out their offerings of the lamb’s blood in the Temple. The Levites in the Temple grounds sung the Hallel: Psalms 113-119. The faithful women who followed Jesus along with John wept at the foot of the hanging Messiah who was the true and final sacrificial lamb.

This lamb that died on Passover the Bible also teaches that He rose on the day of first fruits, which is the third day after the Passover.

Matthew 12:39-40 But He answered and said to them, "An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. "For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”

According to some exclusionary Biblical calculators, using this one scripture over the many others, they insist Jesus rose on the fourth day. Yet both Jesus and Paul said he rose on the third day.  Are both Jesus and Paul mistaken about what day that He rose from the dead? Are these calculators of measuring 24 hour days attached to Jesus’ statement on Jonah right? Let’s look at his two statements in their context and understand.

Luke 11:29-30 “And while the crowds were thickly gathered together, He began to say, "This is an evil generation. It seeks a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah the prophet. "For as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so also the Son of Man will be to this generation.”

His main point is that the sign of Jonah, which is His resurrection, is a sign to those of his generation who were looking for signs by miracles.

According to Jonah’s statement that Jesus cited, how could Jesus be buried on a Friday and rise on a Sunday and it be three days and three nights? What they do is make it a full 24 hour days and take it back another day, to a Thursday (some even Wednesday).  If they insist on this interpretation they must at the same time answer how could Jesus say he would rise ON the third day?  He would then have to ignore his Jonah statement that he used to mean literally72 hours (according to those that use this). For if he was in the grave three full 24 hour days, he would have risen ON the fourth day. The Bible says ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about a fourth day; nothing at all. Every reference is ON THE THIRD DAY. Even Paul says in explaining what the gospel is in 1 Cor.15:1-34 states that he rose on the third day ACCORDING to the SCRIPTURES.

Let me propose that Jesus’ point on the sign of Jonah is not the amount of days, but that he will die. As Jonah died, so will the Son of man die. Jesus has the emphasis on the sign, not the time. Jesus point is He will die and be resurrected, as Jonah did. That is why he calls it is the SIGN of Jonah (Lk.11:29).

Every time he spoke of His death he also spoke of his resurrection and would say He will rise the third day, not the 4th day (which logically negates it to mean it was to be a full three days and three nights).

From Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament: Matt 12:40 “Three days and three nights” may simply mean three days in popular speech. Jesus rose "on the third day" (Matt 16:21), not "on the fourth day." It is just a fuller form for "after three days" (Mark 8:31; 10:34).  

Matt 12:38-42 [Three days and three nights] It will be seen in the account of the resurrection of Christ that he was in the grave but two nights and a part of three days. See Matt 18:6. This computation is, however, strictly in accordance with the Jewish mode of reckoning. If it had "not" been, the Jews would have understood it, and would have charged our Saviour as being a false prophet, for it was well known to them that he had spoken this prophecy, Matt 27:63. Such a charge, however, was never made; and it is plain, therefore, that what was "meant" by the prediction was accomplished. It was a maxim, also, among the Jews, in computing time, that a part of a day was to be received as the whole. Many instances of this kind occur in both sacred and profane history. See 2 Chron 10:5,12; Gen 42:17-18. Compare Est 4:16 with Est 5:1. (from Barnes' Notes)

Jews in the first century measured days differently than we do in Western civilization (a strict 24-hour period). Jews reckoned a portion of a day as a full day. This Hebraic concept was called the “Onah.” And Jewish days were measured from sunset to sunset. That said, any part of a day can be considered a day. EX: Thursday sunset to Friday sunset would be one day. Friday sunset to Saturday sunset would be the second day. Saturday sunset Sunday sunset another day. The Bible tells us he rose to life early Sunday morning (first day of the week), this half a day, would be the considered a full day — the third day. Thus three days.

This counting of days and which day can also be proven by the three required Feasts of Israel

There are those (of the same camp) that insist he rose on the Sabbath, the 7th day. That would mean He did not rest, breaking the Sabbath. Which would disqualify him.

The Law of Moses states that the sacrifice must be killed on 14 Nisan. Jesus ate the Pesach meal on the 14 Nisan. He would have been crucified ON the 14 of Nisan, the Feast of Unleavened Bread. As it did not become the 15 until the next evening (Saturday, which would begin the Sabbath day at sundown Friday). The Bible says He was crucified before the high Sabbath began. Remember the weekly Sabbath ALWAYS begins Friday at sundown (then commences Saturday the 7th day, which is the Sabbath). When a Feast Day falls on the Sabbath day it is called a HIGH Sabbath.

The seven days of The Feast of Unleavened Bread begins

In Jesus' day they Jews combined the two feasts, Luke 22:1 Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called Passover." 

Matt 26:17-18 “Now on the first day of the Feast of the Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying to Him, "Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?" And He said, "Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, 'The Teacher says, "My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at your house with My disciples."'

Mark 14:12 “Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they killed the Passover lamb, His disciples said to Him, "Where do You want us to go and prepare, that You may eat the Passover?"

Luke 22:7 “Then came the Day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover must be killed."

So the Passover was on the first day of Unleaven bread.

When was he crucified?

Our Gregorian calendar counts a day from midnight to midnight (the Roman measurement). The Hebrew calendar that was given by God to Israel counts a day from sunset as a new day (not 12:00 midnight, nor beginning at dawn).

Mark 15:25 “Now it was the third hour, and they crucified Him.”

There were 2 portions of a day, each were broken into 4 parts.

The Hebrew calendar divided the night portion of a single 24 hour day into four “watches,” and the night portion consisting of into four “watches”, three hours each. A day begins at sunset.

First Watch: 6 pm to 9 pm; Second Watch 9 pm to 12 pm; Third Watch 12:00 midnight to 3 am; Fourth Watch 3 am to 6 am.

The day portion (from sunrise to sunset) was divided into twelve “hours.”

Pertaining to his crucifixion the 3rd hour was 9 am (6+3).  

Matthew 27:45-50: Jesus died at the ninth hour (approximately 3:00 pm, afternoon coming to twilight). Luke 23:54 and John 19:42 state that He was placed in the tomb just prior to sunset the very same day. He died and was buried on a Friday, before the Sabbath took place (that eve). (Deut. 21:22-23) Called the preparation day.

Luke 23:52-54 “This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus (Joseph of Arimathea). Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a tomb that was hewn out of the rock, where no one had ever lain before. That day was the Preparation, and the Sabbath drew near.” Remember the Sabbath is that Friday night.

Jesus was buried the same day He died, according to the Law, before sundown when the Sabbath commenced. The bible teaches that Jesus was symbolically our ‘kernel of wheat’ and ‘unleavened bread’.

7 feasts were part of their calendar the Hebrew’s were to continually keep. The feast days are found in Lev.23 “These are My appointed feasts, holy seasons of the LORD, which you are to proclaim at their appointed times” 'The Hebrew word for feast, 'mo'ed,' means 'a set or appointed time.' A similar meaning is 'mikrah, which is 'a rehearsal.' Each feast is like a dress rehearsal, illustrating a part of God's prophetic plan. The combined seven feasts, would be a spiritual blueprint of what lies ahead for Israel, and for the believers.

Ex.23:14 First is the feast of Passover with the feast of Unleaven bread. Next is the feast of first fruits, the wave offering. First fruits was celebrated at dawn on the first day of the week after the weekly Sabbath (Sunday at near sunrise). Jesus, fulfilled the first four feast days of the Hebrew calendar (spring feasts) on the very days of the feasts. He is the first fruits of the Resurrection, raised on the first day of the week, as scripture says.

Exod. 12:18 'In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty-first day of the month at evening.”

Lev. 23:4-6 'These are the feasts of the LORD, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times. 'On the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight is the LORD'S Passover. 'And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD; seven days you must eat unleavened bread.”

Num. 9:5 and Num. 28:16-18 'On the fourteenth day of the first month is the Passover of the LORD. 'And on the fifteenth day of this month is the feast; unleavened bread shall be eaten for seven days. 'On the first day you shall have a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work.

The first eve of Passover was when every Jewish family ate their Passover lamb. Jesus ate the Passover meal by sundown Thursday to Friday.

He was crucified and buried Friday afternoon (our time). Remember the Hebrew time of a day begins from sundown (Saturday is the Sabbath, beginning Friday eve.)

The first day of Passover was when the special Passover sacrifice was offered in the Temple. Jesus died on the first day of Passover, his crucifixion began at nine in the morning. The same time At midday of the fourteenth day of Nisan the sacrifices began in the Temple. Just as the Law of Moses states that the sacrifice must be killed on 14 Nisan.

(Our) Thursday evening until Friday evening; becomes the first day of His death and burial (buried before the Sabbath commenced). The 2nd day of His burial is from Friday evening until Saturday evening. The last day was from Saturday evening until Sunday before sunrise, this is the third day of His burial which also becomes the day of His Resurrection. The Messiah was resurrected on the seventeenth day of Nisan, agreeing with Mosaic system. 

Lev. 23:10-11 when they reap the lands harvest, “then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest. 'He shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted on your behalf; on the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.

In the New Testament this is applied to Jesus, 1 Cor. 15:20 “Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” He fulfilled the feasts on their exact days.

Jesus was resurrected on the first day of the week. Sunday is the first day of the week after the Sabbath has passed. The first-fruits were picked by the priest and offered on a Sunday at near sunrise, the Messiah’s Resurrection fulfilled the Feast of First-fruits.

Mark 16:2 The Sabbath was passed and the tomb was found empty after sunrise on Sunday morning.

Biblical time:

Friday 9:00-3:00 The crucifixion

(burial occurred  just before evening)

Day 1

Sundown Friday        - Sabbath begins

Saturday night through Saturday

Day 2

Saturday eve, Sunday  –Sunday before daybreak



Sunday eve to Monday



Day 4







It was God’s timing for Jesus to be crucified on a Friday morning, Passover, the 6th day of the week (the Day man was made), before the Sabbath (7th day, a day of rest) and raised after the Sabbath on the first day of the week. He could not be raised on the Sabbath or He would be breaking his own law.

The Resurrection time according to the Bible

Matthew 28:1: first day of the week, Sunday

Mark 16:1-2: And very early in the morning the first day of the week,

Luke 24:1 Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning,

John 20:1: The first day of the week come Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark”

So the Feast days explicitly tell us when Jesus rose. The fulfillment can be understood better when we examine the Hebrew way of counting days and nights. The Biblical day always starts at sunset, so that Friday really began on Thursday evening our time (this principle of a day beginning is found in Genesis – God determined “the evening and the morning” as the first day). Jesus was crucified on Friday (from 9:00-3:00) because they had to take the body down before the Sabbath commences. The weekly Sabbath always begins Friday evening at sunset.

Support of the Lord’s crucifixion being on our Friday is history.  The Scriptures tell us the Sabbath was about to begin just a few hours after Jesus’ death?

Now to the question: How could He have been buried the day before the Sabbath, rise the day after the Sabbath, and it be three days and three nights in the tomb?

Besides the feast days given to Israel, the answer is also found in John 19:31  “Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.”

Luke 23:53-56 “Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a tomb that was hewn out of the rock, where no one had ever lain before. That day was the Preparation, and the Sabbath drew near.” (If it was Wednesday or even Thursday this statement of the Sabbath drawing near could not have any accurate meaning)

In other words the Sabbath was next to occur, so they made haste. Matt 27:57-62 Jesus died on Preparation Day (BEFORE the Sabbath began). This Sabbath was called a High Day, or a Special Sabbath, because it was also on the Feast of Unleavened Bread (one of the seven annual feast day Sabbaths). [The Feast of Unleavened Bread can be referred to as the Passover even though the Passover was a separate event.] Any time a holy day fell on the Sabbath it was called a high day.

The second (full day) day then begins at sundown on Friday and continues through the daytime on Saturday. Sunday begins at sundown on Saturday eve and continues through (our Saturday night) and the daylight hours of Sunday, making it the third day. Because the Jews counted any portion of a day as a day, then Friday evening through Sunday morning would have been seen as three complete days. Many mistake 3 complete days to mean 24 hour periods.

It was a maxim, also, among the Jews, in computing time that a part of a day was to considered as a whole day. Many instances of this kind occur in both sacred and secular history. Matt 27:45-54 and Luke 23:44-45 The sun was darkened between the 6th and 9th hour (12 -3 pm) as the sins of the world were upon by him and God’s wrath was poured out on Jesus. This darkness could not have been a solar eclipse as the Passover is always held at full moon on the 14th day of the Jewish lunar month of Nisan. New Moons start lunar months, Passover is always on a full moon. A solar eclipse only occurs at a New Moon when the Moon passes between Earth and Sun.  

They brought the spices because they did not have time as the Sabbath approached on THAT Friday eve. Luke 23:55 “And the women who had come with Him from Galilee followed after, and they observed the tomb and how His body was laid. Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.”

Mary Magdalen went alone to the tomb first. John 20:1 “On the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.”

Dark Gr- scotia: dimness, obscurity (literally or figuratively): the dark before the dawn. What is the first day of the week according to Judaism? It’s not the Sabbath, its Sunday (dreaded Sunday to them).

Mark 16:1-3 Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him. Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.”

The day Jesus showed himself

On the day Jesus was resurrected He met with two disciples on the road to Emmaus. In Luke 24:19-21, one of them said to him that it was the third day (not the fourth day) since Jesus was crucified. Jesus did not correct him and say, no it’s the fourth.

His disciples said this is the third day (when he showed himself alive) therefore they knew how many days. For it to be three 24 hour days, 72 hours, it would have been the 4th day.

People move the Passover back one day in order to get this full (24 hours) three days and three nights, because of the western way we count 24 hour periods. This is an inaccurate way to measure.  These are good for nothing ideas to insert the three days and three nights instead of allowing the Scripture to tell them what actually took place. Furthermore, their argument  means Jesus broke the Sabbath that these people often want to exalt by pushing the days back to Wednesday because the Sabbath command is to rest (according to the Bible) and they say He rose on the Sabbath. If it was Wednesday it would be 4 1/2 days.

The feast days prove when Jesus died and rose from the dead.

Since He was crucified on a preparation day (Jn. 19:31), He was crucified prior to Friday evening which begins the Sabbath (Saturday, the 7th day). A preparation day is a day to prepare for the Passover. Leviticus 23:5-6. The first day of Unleavened Bread continues to follow the day of Passover.  

Exod. 12:18 'In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty-first day of the month at evening." Unleavened bread begins on the 14th but continues after the Passover.

Jesus celebrated the Passover with his disciples in the evening. The next morning Jesus hung on the cross as the sinless lamb crucified for our sins.

What of the resurrection? Jesus was raised fulfilling first fruits. This would be on the morning AFTER the Sabbath, Sunday.

Now to conclude to answer the question: If the Lord was crucified on Friday and rose again on Sunday, how could that be three days and three nights? The Gospel accounts indicates that the Lord was crucified on Friday at 9:00 a.m. and taken off the cross at 3:00 p.m. His body was quickly prepared for His burial that was buried just before sundown the same day, which was on the Feast of Unleavened Bread,

Matt 28:1 Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.

Jesus arose on Sunday morning before sun up.  Pentecost the 4th feast- called the harvest (ingatherings) is the last in succession of the spring feasts, the Holy Spirit is sent 50 days after the feast of Unleaven bread.

Hopefully this is now better understood, as I have tried my best to make this plain according to the Hebrews calendar.



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